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Legal Ethics

Greenberg Traurig Ousts Partner Accused of Altering Offering Documents in SEC Probe

Posted Jan 31, 2011 9:44 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Greenberg Traurig has ousted a Los Angeles partner accused of altering offering documents requested in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The law firm terminated partner David Tamman on Friday, according to the Am Law Daily and a Reuters Legal article published by Westlaw News & Insights. A statement by Greenberg Traurig said Tamman’s alleged conduct took place at a former law firm—apparently Nixon Peabody—and it had not been aware of any wrongdoing.

Nixon Peabody had hired Tamman in February 2007 and fired him in October 2009 when it learned of the SEC investigation, the firm told Reuters Legal and the Am Law Daily.

In an order initiating administrative proceedings (PDF) filed last week, the SEC contends Tamman added language to the offering documents for his client NewPoint Securities, a real-estate investment company. Corporate principal John Farahi is accused of using NewPoint money to build a multimillion dollar home and make risky futures trades.

According to the SEC, Tamman changed the offering documents to make it appear investors had been informed that NewPoint money would be loaned to Farahi. He is also accused of asking his firm’s technology department to strip metadata from the electronic documents. The data had been requested by the SEC and would have shown when material was created and altered.

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